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Series opener between Indians, Padres postponed by rain

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The Canadian Press
4/7/2014 5:29:43 PM
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CLEVELAND -- Corey Kluber's got a cloud hanging over him so far this season.

And it's already opened up twice.

For the second time in a week, Cleveland's right-hander had a start postponed because of rain as Monday's interleague series opener between the Indians and San Diego Padres was washed out.

With steady rains falling at Progressive Field and the forecast for more showers and no window to play, the Indians announced the postponement less than two hours before the scheduled opening pitch.

The teams will play a traditional doubleheader on Wednesday with the first game scheduled to begin at 12:05 p.m. The second game will start 20 minutes after the conclusion of the opener.

Last week, Kluber's season debut in Oakland was postponed as the Athletics were rained out for the first time since 1998. The Indians and A's made up the rainout the following day with a day-night doubleheader, the earliest doubleheader in baseball history, according to STATS.

So, is this Kluber's fault?

"I don't know if you can blame this one on Klubes," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "It seems like there is always a pitcher, though, who catches it."

Kluber, incidentally, was drafted by the Padres in 2007.

Because the Padres are not scheduled to come back to Cleveland again this season due to the interleague format, the Indians decided to make up the postponement as soon as possible rather than push it back to a later date.

"This is obviously the only time we'll play San Diego so it makes sense to play and not have them flying back on some other day off," Francona said. "It's too easy to put it off until later and all of a sudden there's a lot of laters. So I think making it up now makes sense."

The Padres, who are making their first visit to Cleveland since 2008, don't deal with many rainouts in California.

"It doesn't happen much in San Diego, but in other parts of the country and in other parts of your career, you get accustomed to this," said manager Bud Black, who had two stints as a pitcher with the Indians. "It's always a little unsettling, but most players are conditioned for days like this based on the number of times this happens over one's career."

Still, the Indians are conditioned to the weather they've faced since returning home.

Their home opener against Minnesota on Friday was delayed more than two hours by rain, and they played three straight games against the Twins in blustery, frigid conditions.

"It's tough," Indians catcher Yan Gomes said. "Even San Francisco, man, it was cold out there, too. Coming out here and playing in the cold weather, I know it takes a toll on a lot of guy's bodies. But hey, you can't pick your spots. You've got to play in this kind of weather and the other teams are doing the same."

Kluber's start is pushed back until Tuesday against San Diego's Tyson Ross. Zach McAllister will start one of Wednesday's games and Francona said the Indians will promote a starter from the minors for the other. The Padres are bumping Monday's starter, left-hander Robbie Erlin, back to Wednesday with lefty Eric Stults starting the other game. The Padres haven't decided in which order they'll pitch.

Playing two doubleheaders in a week can be taxing on any pitching staff, but Francona said it's not a major issue as long as games aren't cancelled on consecutive days.

"When you start missing two or three games then you have to start to skip guys and we haven't had to do that," he said.

What's been challenging or the Indians so far has been the cold. After spending spring training in beautiful Arizona, they've returned to a winter that still has its grip on Cleveland.

"It's difficult, but at the same time you have to be mentally tough," outfielder Michael Brantley said. "We know what we're getting into coming to Cleveland, especially in the beginning part of the year. We layer up and stay as warm as possible."

NOTES: Francona does not yet know if CF Michael Bourn will travel with the club to Chicago, where the Indians will begin a seven-game trip on Thursday. Bourn is on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. He was eligible to be activated on the weekend, but has made only one minor league rehab appearance and needs to play more. ... The Indians are 148-155 in interleague play. The Padres are 119-155 against AL teams.

Rained out (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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